Good news from us. Bad news from Japan.

It has been a while since I updated and so here is a summary.

First Janet has only 4 chemo treatments to go. Yeah!!! But, the best news is that her oncologist has declared her to be in remission!

Now don’t take her off your prayer list, good thoughts, joss sticks, candles, prayer wheel or whatever you prefer. All positive energy is still much appreciated.

One of the tests for ovarian cancer is the “CA-125”. Lower is better. “Normal” is less than 35. When first diagnosed, Janet was 563. Some patients are much higher.

Each month her CA-125 was less than half the month before, and on March 7th it was 8! Great news! Can she get it to 4 on the 28th? That would be nice, but even 8 is wonderful.

So, Janet is getting great ‘grades’ and feeling very good. Thanks for the prayers, etc.

Dave is feeling fine also, but busy with keeping the medical insurance bills correct and selling some remaining items from his folks on eBay. You can see the eBay items here.

Dave’s father was John Heath, who, among other things was a World Authority on Arctic Kayaks. Here is more info about him.

The earthquake & tsunami

I assume that everyone knows about the troubles in Northern Japan. We send them our prayers, etc and cannot imagine what the affected zones are like. Janet & I feel their pain better than most. We were in the Mexico City 1985, 8.2 earthquake and for two days after, we were walking through rubble, trying to find a way to get word our families. Our hotel stayed up, but many, many near us collapsed into piles of rubble. Over 10,000 known dead. But, no tidal wave or radiation. Mexico City was terrible, but a piece of cake compared to the worst parts of Japan.

9.0 is nearly 10 times stronger than 8.2. And it is more complicated than that. How long it lasts, the kind of motion (vertical,
horizontal, etc), and lots of things may be important in how much damage occurs. Mexico City is mostly built on a gigantic peat bog. Think, bowl of Jello. Our hotel shook so violently for about 45 seconds that it was hard to stand up.

Let’s just say that there are many factors for earthquake damage. And then they had a series of tsunamis and now radiation. We hope that all will join us in doing what you do to help them.

As most of you know, Pacific Rim earthquakes often cause tsunamis that affect much of the Pacific. You’ve seen the videos, but here is part of a letter from some cruising friends on the West Coast of Mexico. Tom & Janis Bell on TOMBOY.

Subject: March 15 La Cruz, near Puerto Vallarta
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 20:04:49 +0000

Greetings everyone,

All is fine on Tomboy after the effects of the Japan Tsunami. Fri the 11th, I was up before 5am to do work on the internet. As the sun rose I was finishing up contacts with the Agent in Tahiti to complete arrangement & payment for their assistance for check in-out and bond waiver. Then a cruiser at the dock told us about the huge Japan earthquake/tsunami threat here. Wow, what a shock. The VHF radio net was intense with info at 8am. The waves or ?? affects were due here near noon. We decided to take Tomboy out into the bay for the day, as did about ½ the boats in this marina and the other 3 in Pt. Vallarta to be on the safe side.

The VHF channel 22 was full of land based info updates concerning Japan, and USA/MX coastal info all day. Near 1pm the marinas were reporting sudden continuous fast 1 ft rises-quick falls (all in less than 8 min) in the water based on the docks going up and down the pilings. That steadily increased to 2 ft then 3- 4 and 5 ft+ increases /drops in that 8-10 min rapid water shift—major surge in and out of the marinas (all closed- huge currents in and out with the flushing action). Out in the bay over 300 sail & power boats enjoyed a beautiful day with no obvious wave action. It was expected to last about 3-4 hrs. About 4pm many headed to shore expecting to go back to the dock. In reality that surge was still at its peak exposing shore/rocks then pushing up to record high areas on the beach/ in the marinas which were totally unsafe to enter. The port captains closed all the marinas for entry. As a result off La Cruz and up this side of the bay where the best anchoring is located all those 300+ boats anchored for the night. We were off the Marina amid over 150 boats I counted early Sat am . It had been a calm night and everyone was courteous and orderly amid the stress filled day.

In new ultra modern Marina La Cruz that long intense surge weakened the end slips of the long mega yacht size dock #7 just inside the entry where the wild inflow/outflow was the strongest. Sat morning (10am) when we returned to the marina there were workers dealing with the broken long end main finger (main support) and 2 interior fingers–only the massive double pilings for them were intact–$$ and difficult repair. All the boats on that dock were relocated. It was probably good that so many boats had left. The other 3 marinas are located farther inside from the sea entry and reported NO damage to docks nor boats. Yet all the entry channels had changed with all the shifting sand in the constant powerful currents. It surprised everyone that that Tsunami ocean energy affected this bay well over 12 hrs. Boats in bays south reported similar fast rise/fall of coastal water all day also without significant damage. (Nothing like Santa Cruz or Crescent City, Calif.)

Tomboy now has full water tanks, fuel, produce, plenty of
food/spares/charts and more. We pick up laundry at noon and will spend the day getting ready for sea, cleaning up our computers, checking weather and enjoying walks in town. Tomorrow 3/16 is our planned exit. We are hoping for a NW wind push from the next pacific front to help us leave MX. Five other boats from this area plan to head to the So Pacific this week. Last night we listened for the 1st time to the Puddle Jump SSB net (0200 Zulu time- 7pm AZ) on 81 upper side band. This is a check in net (roll call) for boats heading to the So Pacific to give location/ sea conditions. 6 boats that left last week checked in and we will join that roll call soon. Future passage news will come via Emily. We are ready to start the next chapter of this adventure. Janis and Tom


Everybody stay safe and happy and we will do the same.

Dave & Janet


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